Apple announced that it's giving $50 million to nonprofits that will train and recruit more women, minorities and veterans to work in the tech industry.
Apple human resources chief Denise Young Smith told Fortune that the company has been working with several organizations to create a more diverse workforce. “We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” Young Smith told Fortune. “There is tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.”
For now, the initiatives are focusing on women and minorities, she said, although the company itself is also open to race and gender (its chief executive Tim Cook is openly gay.) Apple is maintaining a $40 million multi-year partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit that supports students at historically black colleges and universities.
“Historically, other organizations have provided scholarship dollars or focused on whatever area matters most to them,” Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, told Fortune. “What differentiates this partnership with Apple is that it hits on everything that we do — it is the most comprehensive program ever offered to an HBCU organization.”
Apple is also working with the National Center for Women and Information Technology to create more female workers in technology. About $10 million will be used to "double the number of four-year-degree recipients" the center currently has, Fortune reported. In addition, Apple is also talking to the military about increased technology training for veterans.
Although these projects will likely take several years to mature, Apple hopes to eventually partake of the fruit of its efforts more women and people of color diversifying and strengthening the tech industry.